VATICAN CITY, APR. 12, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Victims of this year´s pair of devastating earthquakes in El Salvador were the beneficiaries of the alms collected during the Mass of the Lord´s Supper, presided over by John Paul II on Holy Thursday in his cathedral.
While the Pontiff knelt down to wash the feet of 12 priests, the faithful in the Basilica of St. John Lateran were invited to offer alms for those affected by the catastrophic quakes.
On Tuesday night a quake rattled the city of San Vicente, 37 miles east of the Salvadoran capital. Gripped by fear, thousands of people spent the night on the streets. There were no reports of victims or serious damages.
The Jan. 13 and Feb. 13 quakes, measuring 7.6 and 6.6, respectively, caused 1,200 deaths, left thousands homeless and triggered millions of dollars worth of damages.
The alms will be allocated to the Church´s work in El Salvador to help those affected. The Church and Catholic organizations have been the nongovernmental organizations that have given the greatest help after the earthquake, and the local Caritas has been the main channel for the distribution of aid.